With the right skills, knowledge, and investments in technology, nothing can stop us
The exporting sector of Bangladesh has exhibited tremendous dynamism in the past few years, and this is mostly due to our ready-made garments sector, which is not only our main export earner, but one of the main engines of our economy and sources of employment.
And yet, there is so much potential in other sectors that have not been fully explored yet, such as non-leather footwear.
We have editorialized before on the potential of leather and leather-based products for our exporting sector, but with leather going through something of a crisis over non-compliance issues and product diversification, non-leather footwear really has the chance to steal the spotlight.
Indeed, there is great interest in sourcing many different types of non-leather footwear such as sports shoes, sandals, flip flops, and boots from Bangladesh by a number of the world’s most prestigious brands and buyers; the list includes heavyweights such as Hugo Boss, H&M, Steve Madden, Skechers, Fila, and Puma Bangladesh.
Another major factor that tips the scales in our favour is the ongoing trade war between the two largest economies in the world -- the US and the People’s Republic of China; furthermore, rising production costs in China have driven numerous buyers and entrepreneurs out of China and looking to greener pastures, and there is no reason Bangladesh should not be their next go-to destination.
If we play our cards right, non-leather footwear can become a billion-dollar sector for us, but there are challenges we need to meet head-on in order to get there.
The crucial first step is to invest in skilled manpower -- the production of synthetic footwear requires highly technical knowledge that is separate from knowledge of leather technology.
With the right skills, knowledge, and investments in technology, nothing can stop us from becoming a formidable force in the global synthetic footwear market.